Booming and Bubbling India- XIV

Delhi is bubbling. Leftists are trying to get their pound of flesh. Political maneuvers may save the situation. The government may stay in power. One feels bad, but this is the price of democracy. However, when we went for the movie: ‘Chak De India’ or ‘Gandhi-the father’, the two multiplexes and malls were having house full indicating the economy booming. Forbes in the report ‘India at 60’ lists more billionaires in India than in any other Asian nation.

Indian IT troika fit for Buffett’s portfolio: Standard and Poor’s has included three of the biggest names in the Indian IT space in its latest biannual compilation of the stocks that meet the legendary investor’s portfolio. The American Depositary Receipts of these three IT behemoths have been named alongside global giants Microsoft, Oracle, Ericsson, Cisco Systems, Diageo, China Mobile and SAP.

For 8 of 10 people in Valley, ‘conditions have improved’: The first-ever Indo-Pak poll sponsored by The Indian Express, Dawn News and CNN-IBN and designed by CSDS, public opinion offers greater room for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute than is usually believed.

Rural twist to BPO story: Sai Seva in Andhra village offers solution to cost and attrition worries of firms such as Royal Sundaram, HDFC. The venture was built around the notion that “around 80 lakh educated rural youths are still unemployed and Gartner (a research outfit) said that India could lose 70% of the BPO opportunities to more cost-effective countries by 2010.”

Indians predated Newton ‘discovery’ by 250 years: A little-known school of scholars in South India discovered one of the founding principles of modern mathematics hundreds of years before Sir Isaac Newton, to whom the finding is currently attributed.

Infosys, TCS top corporate reputation index: IT majors Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have emerged as the most reputed corporate houses in India while Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Hindustan Unilever were tied at the second place, according to the latest Corporate Reputation Index released by global consultancy firm TNS. Maruti Udyog, the largest carmaker in the country, got the third highest number of votes on the index.

IT giants increase overseas hiring: The non-Indian workforce comprised 9.6 per cent of the IT majors’ total workforce in 2006-07, and the number is set to rise. Wipro Technologies hired over 200 college/ business school graduates from the US and Europe in 2006-07. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as its long-term strategy is looking at having 15-20 per cent of their workforce from foreign countries. Infosys already has 3 per cent of its workforce made up of foreign nationals, and has seen their numbers grow 28 per cent from fiscal ’05-’06 to ’06-’07.

N-deal opens up investment possibilities worth $40 bn: The Indo-US civil nuclear deal has opened up the possibility of investments worth $40 billion over the next 15 years to step up nuclear power generation, with leading firms like White Westinghouse, General Electric, Rosatom and Siemens unveiling plans to do business with the country.

L&T for megapower: L&T has entered into a joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd to set up an Rs750 crore manufacturing facility for super-critical boilers, which will have an annual production capacity of 3,000-4,000MW. L&T is also close to inking a deal with Japan’s leading power-generation equipment manufacturer, Toshiba Corp., to set up a facility for manufacturing super-critical technology turbines in India. The deal may entail an investment of $80 million by the engineering major.

Tata Motors at Pantnagar:
Tata Motors Ltd, India’s largest truck maker had received the go-ahead from the Uttarakhand government to start commercial production at its Pantnagar factory. The Pantnagar factory has the capacity to produce 225,000 units a year, and will make both the Ace cargo carrier and its passenger vehicle version, Magic.

Allocation for higher, tech education to treble: The Budget allocation for higher and technical education in the country is set to treble in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-2012) with the Planning Commission expected to allocate over Rs 26,000 crore, compared to Rs 8,876 crore in the 10th Five-Year Plan. The commission is targeting a gross enrolment ratio (GER) of 15 per cent by 2015 as against that of 10% in the 10th Five-Year Plan, thus enrolling an additional 8-9 million students in higher education by 2015. The GER in most developed economies is between 40 per cent and 50 per cent. Look at the potential.

Volvo for Engine manufacturing in India: India is one of the locations that Volvo is considering for setting up an engine and transmission plant for the Asian market.

Indian outsourcing heads abroad: Indian information technology and outsourcing firms, which have a reputation for cheap operations, are diverting new orders to places like the Philippines, East Europe and Latin America that offer better pricing and skill sets.

Govt plans four national pharma institutes:
The government has decided to set up four national institutes of pharmaceutical education and research (NIPER) to offer masters and doctoral degrees in specialized areas connected with cutting-edge technologies to serve a booming healthcare industry that is facing a severe shortage of human resources at Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Hajipur (Bihar) and Kolkata that would produce about 1000 post-graduate and doctoral graduates every year.

100% jump in domestic investments: A Reserve Bank of India report has estimated that banks and financial institutions sanctioned 1,054 projects worth Rs 2.83 lakh crore ($70 billion) in 2006-07, more than double the Rs 1.31 lakh crore or $34 billion sanctioned for 812 projects in the previous year. Add the $15 billion that India received as foreign direct investment (FDI) last year; and another $6.6 billion that came in as net foreign institutional investment (FII) during 2006-07. The Rs 2.83 lakh crore would be invested in creating or expanding production facilities till 2011-12. Two-thirds of the investment will go for setting up new capacity, while 27.5% will go into expansion and modernisation of existing facilities.

Auto industry zooms to become small-car hub: In the last five years, annual growth in the passenger vehicle segment has been by 15 per cent, commercial vehicles 26 per cent, two wheelers 13 per cent and three wheelers 15 per cent. The industry expected to attract investment worth $35-40 billion by 2016.

Reliance Retail to create half a million jobs: Reliance Retail Ltd (RRL) would create half-a-million jobs and provide indirect employment to another one million over the next three years.

IBM launches Hindi speech recognition technology: A speech recognition technology for Hindi has been developed by software major IBM which would help less literate and physically challenged persons among the speakers of the language, access information through a variety of applications.

HAL-Canada’s CAE to set up pilot school in B’lore: Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has forged a joint venture with Canada’s CAE to set up a $55 million pilot training school in Bangalore and drawn up plans to establish a facility to manufacture multi-role combat jets.

Wi-Fi system at 50 railway stations: RailTel, a subsidiary of the railways is planning to instal Wi-Fi systems at 50 stations as a pilot scheme; and passengers at these stations can access broadband internet facility using laptops and other Wi-Fi enabled devices.

30,000 MW to be added using imported N-fuel: The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) plans to add 30,000 MW of power based on imported nuclear fuel in the near future.

Reva gears up for global electric-car market: Some 2,000 of these zero-polluting city commuters have been put on the roads in India and Europe, including 600 in London, in the six years since Reva Electric Car Co. turned commercial.

Global hotels to mushroom in India: A dozen global chains – including the Hilton, Accor, Marriott International, Berggruen Hotels, Cabana Hotels, Premier Travel Inn (PTI) and InterContinental Hotels group – has announced plans to set up over 350 five-star, four-star and budget hotels and 50 villas that would roughly translate into 65,000 additional hotel rooms. Foreign tourist arrivals rose to 4.43 million last year from 3.92 million in 2005.

VIP to make hard luggage for Delsey: VIP Industries has signed an agreement with the world’s second largest luggage company Delsey making the Indian company the sole manufacturer for the French major’s global hard luggage range.

Delhi-Mumbai corridor involving $90 bn: The government today approved the first phase of the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, which envisages a total investment of over $90 billion during the next decade, with assistance from Japan.

Transport sector is shifting to the fast lane: At over 33 lakh km, India has the second largest road network in the world. Its 63,000 km long railway network is the most extensive in Asia, the second largest under a single management in the world. Aircraft manufacturers say it has a potential to add 1,100 more jets worth over $105 billion over the next 20 years.

Move for 8 more IITs, 7 IIMs: Planning Commission has proposed a seven-year special plan (2007-14) which includes setting up eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, 20 NITs, 20 IIITs and 50 centres for training and research in frontier areas. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised on August 15 that 1,600 new industrial training institutes, 10,000 vocational schools and 50,000 skill development centres would be set up under the mission to supply trained workforce.

99 TV channels, 175 FM stations more in 2007: Ninty-nine new television channels and 175 FM radio stations are expected to be launched this year. Ninety-three private satellite television channels have been permitted to uplink from India so far.

TCS close to bagging $1.5b outsourcing contract: India’s leading IT services provider, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is closer to getting an approximately $1.5 billion (around Rs 6,000 crore) outsourcing contract with the UK-based Prudential Insurance.

Undersea restaurant: The Hyderabad-based Oceanpark Group, which is into real estate and entertainment business, plans to set up an undersea restaurant near Visakhapatnam.

Timken to expand: Timken India plans to expand its operations in the country by increasing its capacities at its plant in Jamshedpur, creating new capacity at a greenfield facility in the Chennai special economic zone (SEZ). The company’s $27 million investment in the Chennai plant will mainly support the demand for high-end bearings from Timken’s global clients.

Dabbawalas eye consultancy biz: The Mumbai-based dabbawalas (literally “box-men”), best known for a high six sigma performance rating by management guru C K Prahalad, now are all set to offer consultancy services on logistics management as a separate revenue stream.

FDI inflows to treble to $11.4 bn: Foreign Direct Investment inflows into India more than trebled to $11.4 billion in the first six months of 2007 as companies such as UK’s Vodafone poured funds to tap the world’s second-fastest growing economy.

Indian toys to breathe fire at Chinese dragon: At the peak of the dragon onslaught – 1999-2003 – India was importing almost 1.2 million (12 lakh) of these from China every week. Today, it’s down to zero; they are all made in India now. Whre there is a will,there is a way. It is happening when the Chineses toys are in news for bad reasons.

And the boom story goes on.

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